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international librarian of mystery

Saturday, January 22, 2005

A drama unfolds

Artemis was sitting on a bench-seat near the bottom of the lighthouse-slide that takes pride of place at Frank Kitt's Park. He saw me and waved me over.

"Natalie, hello, commiserations on the job-loss."
"Hi Artemis, thanks," I said, sitting down next to him.
"Any jobs on the horizon?"
"No. Not that I've looked hard. I'm going to start looking properly next week. Not that I'm in any rush. It's quite nice being unemployed now that summer seems to have arrived, and I've discovered I'm eligible for the dole when my severance pay runs out, so I won't be totally financially crippled."
"You'll be looking for more library work?"
"It's the only thing I'm qualified for, really. I suppose so. There's lots of library jobs around Wellington, hopefully something will pop up."
"You seem to be a very good librarian. I'm surprised they let you go, actually."
"Thanks Artemis. But, yes, they seemed to frown upon my law-breaking."

We chit-chatted about our respective Christmas breaks for a bit, and then Artemis pulled a spiral-bound sheets of A4 paper from his bag.

"Natalie, my school drama group has been working on a new production over the summer break, and, well...um..."

His sentence ground to a halt. Artemis, lost for words? What could this mean?

"Go on," I prompted.
"Well, " he said, and then the rest of the words came in a tumble, "we're doing a play based on your blog."
"You're what?"
"We've created a play based around the stories you've told in your blog. You're the main character, and the other younger me is in it - and Josh, Mrs Darjeeling, all the other librarians."
"You have got to be kidding."
"No, not at all. I've got the script here," he said, handing the spiral-bound A4 paper to me.

I flicked through it - all the names were there. He wasn't making it up.

"You can keep that," said Artemis, "I thought you might like a copy. Although, it's still a draft, really."
"Thanks. I'm, um, stunned is the only word to describe it."

I looked at some pages at random.

"You haven't changed the names at all?"
"No. I considered it, but changing the names of people whose names you've already changed seemed a little redundant."
"I suppose so. Did you write all this yourself Artemis?"
"Yes. Well, I suppose I should say I adapted it myself. A lot of it is verbatim from your blog. That's why I wanted to talk to you, you see. I thought ... well, actually, the drama teacher thought ... I had better check with you to make sure that it would be all right to use your writing."
"Um, I suppose it's fine. I'm very flattered, in fact."
"Don't be, you haven't seen the play yet."
"Will I get to?"
"If you want. We're just workshopping at the moment, and we'll be rehearsing once school starts back. We'll probably be performing it at the end of the first-term."
"I can't wait."
"Actually," said Artemis, looking at his watch, "neither can I - I have to go. Look, have a proper read-through, and let me know if there's anything you really don't want appearing. We've got a few months to fine-tune things, so changes are still pretty easy to make."
"Okay, I will."
"Thanks Natalie. Perhaps we can catch up again soon."
"Perhaps we can."

He offered me a ride home, but I declined, it being such a beautiful day and all, and Franks Kitt's Park being such a nice place to be. I spent the rest of the afternoon basking in the sun. I watched kids playing at the park for a while, then took a walk around the waterfront to the white sands of Oriental Bay, where I lay down and read the script from start-to-finish.

And, if I say so myself, it wasn't too bad.

Continued here...